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Main Street Economic Revitalization Program

Greater Mankato Growth was awarded $1,913,462 by the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), the state's principal economic development agency, to distribute under the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program (MSERP). The purpose of these grant funds is to assist business owners and developers along US 169/MN 60 and US 14 in the City Center in repairing, renovating, developing, and redeveloping of properties in these corridors. The goal of this program is to create jobs and increase the tax base of the targeted areas. Corridors are visible on this map and any project located within a 10-minute walk (as determined by Google maps) is eligible to apply. MN Main Street - Greater Mankato Commercial Corridors (arcgis.com)

The first award decisions will begin on September 16, 2022 for applications submitted prior to that date. Following initial award decisions, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the first $1 million has been awarded. Once $1 million has been awarded in 2022, remaining award decisions will be held until January 2023. Because further decisions will be held until January, December 31 is a de facto deadline to guarantee consideration in the second round.

The second round award deadline has been extended to 11:59 PM on January 31, 2023.

 

If funds remain, applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. $150,000 in funding will be reserved until March 31, 2023 for projects requesting $15,000 or less.

 

Application Documents

English

Link to application (No application is considered complete unless a confirmation of receipt has been received from rvesey@greatermankato.com. If you have completed your application and have not received email confirmation within two business days, please contact rvesey@greatermankato.com to confirm that the application has been successfully submitted)

Application instructions (pdf)

Frequently asked questions (pdf)

Application worksheet (xlsx)

Español

Solicitud del Programa de Revitalización Económica de Main Street (No application is considered complete unless a confirmation of receipt has been received from rvesey@greatermankato.com. If you have completed your application and have not received email confirmation within two business days, please contact rvesey@greatermankato.com to confirm that the application has been successfully submitted)

Instrucciones para aplicar (pdf)

Preguntas frecuentes (pdf)

Hoja de trabajo de solicitud (xlsx) 

Speakers of Somali, Anuak, and Nuer should contact the Minnesota Council of Churches - Refugee Services office at 507-345-1554.

Af-Soomaaliga, Anuak, iyo Nuer waa inay la xiriiraan Golaha Kaniisadaha Minnesota - Xafiiska Adeegyada Qaxootiga 507-345-1554.

 Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions can assist businesses in preparation for a grant application. Answers are subject to change.

To skip to new questions asked after the grant application opened, click here.

 

What is the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program (MSERP)?

The Main Street Economic Revitalization program is supported by the State of Minnesota through a grant from the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), the state's principal economic development agency. This program is intended to provide grants for capital improvement projects in commercial corridors across the state.

Projects resulting in the development, redevelopment, renovation, or repair of buildings are eligible for funding under this program.

Funding is available to anyone who has plans to invest in an eligible project per the requirements listed below. Priority will be given to business owners or developers from underserved populations including Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) individuals, LGBTQI individuals, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals, and individuals living in rural communities.

Who is administering the grant program locally?

The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Foundation (GMG) applied for and received $2 Million for the Greater Mankato Area. The foundation serves as the fiscal host of these funds and will subgrant funds to eligible recipients.

GMG will be working with Region Nine Development Commission, the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, Minnesota Council of Churches – Mankato Refugee Services, and HACER to successfully develop and manage this program.

What can a business receive as part of this grant program?

Businesses can receive a grant for up to 30% of the total project cost. Eligible expenses include:

•Repair, or renovation of real property

•Building construction

•Landscaping and streetscaping

•Demolition and site preparation

•Predesign and design

•Engineering

•Non-publicly owned infrastructure

•Related site amenities

The following expenses are ineligible:

•The purchase of real estate or business operations

•Business operating expenses such as inventory, wages, or working capital

 

Projects must be completed by December 31, 2026

An applicant should check with their local municipality for all permitting, zoning and ordinance requirements.

What is the maximum and minimum amount of funding that can be received under this program?

The maximum amount of funding available under this program is $750,000, which can be received by projects with a total cost of $2,500,000 or more; however, in order to fund as many projects as possible, a soft cap of $200,000 has been set.

Projects receiving $200,000 or more must comply with prevailing wage requirements as required by the State of Minnesota.

The minimum amount of funding available under this program is $1,500, which can be received by projects with a total cost of $5,000 or more. $150,000 has been reserved for projects requesting $15,000 or less.

Which prevailing wage guidelines and rates impact this program?

Projects receiving $200,000 or more must follow the prevailing wage guidelines set by Minnesota State Statutes 177.41 through 177.44 and outlined by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry here: Prevailing-wage information | Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (mn.gov) 

Prevailing wage rates for each county can be found here: Prevailing wage: Commercial rates | Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (mn.gov)

 

Who is eligible to apply for this grant program?

Business owners or developers with property located in Blue Earth or Nicollet County who have projects located in one of the three commercial corridors linked below and have plans to develop, redevelop, renovate, or make repairs to their property are eligible to apply. Projects that make an investment in preparation for a future project can apply to cover any of the eligible expenses listed above.

Individuals leasing space should work with their landlord for any potential application.

 MN Main Street - Greater Mankato Commercial Corridors (arcgis.com)

When can I apply for a grant under this program and when will funding be available?

We hope to open the grant application in July or August 2022.

No more than $1 million in funds will be granted in 2022 with remaining funds granted in 2023

$150,000 in funding will be reserved for projects requesting $15,000 or less until those funds are exhausted or until March 31, 2023.

 What are examples of eligible projects?

 

The following are some examples to give you an idea of whether a project is eligible. Not all eligible projects will receive funding. Some types of projects that are not listed below may be eligible.

1.       Development:

                                                               i.      Building a new structure on previously vacant land.

                                                             ii.      Adding additional space onto an existing structure.

2.       Redevelopment:

                                                               i.      Demolishing an existing structure and constructing something new

                                                             ii.      Repurposing an existing structure to find a new use

3.       Renovation

                                                               i.      Making an improvement to a building façade (storefront)

                                                             ii.      Remodeling the interior of a building

                                                           iii.      Remodeling a doorway or building a ramp to improve ADA compliant accessibility 

4.       Repair

                                                               i.      Repairing a leaking roof

                                                             ii.      Fixing broken windows or doors

                                                           iii.      Resolving a safety concern

                                                           iv.      Adding fire suppression/sprinklers

 

Who decides if my project will receive funding?

A committee of community reviewers will review all projects and create recommendations for project funding. Region Nine Development Commission will use these recommendations to determine which projects receive funding and how much funding will be received.

Where can I receive help with my application? 

The Small Business Development Center will be providing support to businesses seeking to apply to this program. You can sign up to receive support by going to www.MyMinnesotaBusiness.com

What should I consider as I complete my application?

Grant applicants will be asked to show that their project accomplishes one or more of the following goals:

1.       The project will retain existing jobs and/or create new jobs

2.       The project will increase the property value of the structure or vacant site

3.       The project will positively impact the community & residents beyond indicated economic measures. Applicants will be asked to highlight any elements of their project that positively impact members of the underserved populations listed above:

                                                               i.      Examples include but are not limited to:

1.       Adding ADA accessibility

2.       Providing access to culturally appropriate spaces

3.       Improving community aesthetics & vitality

 

4.       The project will positively impact other businesses in the corridor

                                                               i.      Examples include but are not limited to:

1.       Project will be a supplier or customer of other businesses

2.       Project will increase traffic to surrounding businesses 

3.       Project will raise property values of surrounding businesses

 

Do I need to complete my application in English?

 We are working with translators to create copies of this application in other languages. Applications will be accepted in the native language of the applicant.

What projects will receive priority? 

Priority will be given to the following project types:

1.       Projects submitted by applicants from underrepresented communities

2.       Projects that develop or redevelop vacant land or blighted buildings

3.       Projects that resolve a health or safety risk 

4.       Projects that are located in areas that meet the objectives of a strategic plan adopted by a public body

I am located just outside of the boundaries, can I apply?

As all corridors are impacted by the land surrounding the corridors, projects located within a 10-minute walk from the corridor, as estimated by Google Maps, will be eligible. 

MN Main Street - Greater Mankato Commercial Corridors (arcgis.com)

My business lost money during COVID-19, can I apply for funds to cover those expenses under this program?

No, this program cannot cover lost revenue or other operating expenses.  

My project has already started, can I apply for funds under this program?

This funding cannot provide funding for work underway. This funding can cover additions made to the original project plans. These additions should be referenced in the application. Please highlight how this funding allows for an addition in your grant application.

New guidance from the State of Minnesota suggests that in some scenarios a project that is already underway can be supported by this program. Applicants must make a strong case that funding is necessary to support an ongoing project. Potential examples include additions made to the original project plans or a case where a project that was previously started cannot be successfully completed without these funds.

Funds can only be used to offset expenditures after a grant award is made. 50% of expenditures made prior to a grant award can count towards the matching requirement. Please refer to the frequently asked questions regarding the open application for the full explanation given by the State of Minnesota.

 

I need to start my project prior to grant decision, can I apply for funds under this program?

This funding cannot provide funding for work started before a grant decision and agreement is made. If your project is constructed in multiple phases, you can apply for funds to support a later phase of your project.

New guidance from the State of Minnesota suggests that in some scenarios a project that is already underway can be supported by this program. Applicants must make a strong case that funding is necessary to support an ongoing project. Potential examples include additions made to the original project plans or a case where a project that was previously started cannot be successfully completed without these funds.

Funds can only be used to offset expenditures after a grant award is made. 50% of expenditures made prior to a grant award can count towards the matching requirement. Please refer to the frequently asked questions regarding the open application for the full explanation given by the State of Minnesota.

My project will not be completed by December 31, 2026, can I still apply?

Work receiving funding under this program must be completed by December 31, 2026. If your project is multi-phase, please only submit a grant request for the phase(s) of your project that will be completed prior to December 31, 2026.

I am leasing a space, can I apply for funds under this program?

If your business is leasing a space, you should work with your landlord to determine if eligible work can be performed on your business.

What can be used for the matching funds?

Personal capital, loans, private grants, and local government funding can all be used towards the matching requirement. A small amount of the matching funds (no more than 33% of the grant award) can come from state or federal sources.

For example: A $100,000 project could receive $30,000 and must provide a $70,000 match. At least $60,000 must come from sources that are not derived from state or federal funds.  No more than $10,000 can come from other state or federal programs.

The purchase of real estate or business operations or business operating expenses, such as inventory, wages, or working capital cannot be used as matching funds

I have additional questions not addressed here, who can I ask?

If you have additional questions, please contact Greater Mankato Growth at grants@greatermankato.com.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Open Application

 

 

Can I use another DEED or Federal grant award as my matching funds?

Applicants must match 200% of this grant award with non-state/federal funds. If that match has been made, other state/federal programs can cover the remaining match.

If a project costs $100,000 and an applicant is asking for the full 30% ($30,000), the applicant must come up with at least $60,000 of non-state/federal funds.  The remaining 10% can come from another state/federal grant award.

In another scenario, if a project is $200,000 and the applicant is asking for 15% (still $30,000), the applicant must still come up with $60,000 in non-state/federal funds. The remaining $110,000 could come from the state/federal grant award.

 

Should I still complete the matching fund worksheet if I haven't secured my matching funds?

Yes, the matching fund worksheet should be included in the application and should include all matching funds that have already been identified. Even if no matching funds have been secured, the matching fund worksheet should be included and should reflect that. Please use the space available in the worksheet and in the grant application narrative to describe the plan to identify matching funds. 

I have two projects on one property, can I apply for grants for both of them?

Yes; however, you will be responsible for determining if you must pay prevailing wage in the event that you receive total funding of $200,000 or more. Initial feedback from DEED has suggested that a multi-phase project will be considered as one for the purpose of determining prevailing wage requirements.

Is equipment an eligible project expense?

This response comes directly from the State of Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development:

Equipment is not eligible unless it falls under the definition of a capital improvement. For equipment to qualify as a capital improvement it has to be a tangible fixed asset of a capital nature and purchased and installed upon initial acquisition and construction of a building, expansion or major remodeling and necessary for the intended purpose of the facility.

Examples of equipment that meets this definition could include walk-in coolers, kitchen ranges and ovens, vent hoods, security equipment, restroom equipment, etc.

Equipment that is not installed in facility such as furniture, computers, etc are not considered capital improvements to the facility itself. In other words if a piece of equipment can be picked up and moved out the facility and be quickly converted to cash it’s not eligible.

Examples of equipment that does not meet the definition of capital improvement could include things like tables, chairs, tablets, computers, utensils, office supplies, printers, etc.

For a project receiving a Leveraged Grant can matching funds expended prior to the project being awarded count towards match?

Note: This response reflects updated guidance from the State of Minnesota and impacts the original language surrounding funding for projects that area already underway or projects that must start prior to receiving a grant award.

Any project funds expended prior to July 1, 2021 cannot count towards the matching requirements of a Leveraged Grant.

Up to 50% of projects funds expended AFTER July 1, 2021 and BEFORE being awarded can, with acceptable documentation of prior expenditures, count towards the matching requirements of a Leveraged Grant.

Here is what that might look like for a $2.5m project.

· An applicant with an eligible project request $750,000 is leverage grants.

· Recipient has secured $1,750,000 in matching funds.

· The project has spent $875,000 (50% of $1.75m) in project cost after July 1st, 2021, prior to being awarded. With acceptable documentation of prior expenditures, this could count towards match.

· A total of $1,625,000 (grant plus new matching) is invested in the project after being awarded.

 

I have additional questions not addressed here, who can I ask?

If you have additional questions, please contact Greater Mankato Growth at info@greatermankato.com.

 

 

Our region could not have received this grant without the support of the partners listed below. Thank you to all of them:

This Program is supported, in part, by the State of Minnesota through a grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development

The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Family: Visit Mankato City Center Partnership